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Wednesday, 4 December 1935

Senator HARDY (New South Wales) . - The clause inserts a new section, 29a, which reads -

Whore, prior to the commencement of this section, a board has purported to cancel a pension in circumstances in which the commission is, under section 20 of this act, authorized to cancel a pension, the pension shall be deemed to be, and at all times from and after the date of the purported cancellation, to have been, cancelled by the commission under that section. 1 should like to know the precise meaning of the word "purported". Section 29 enacts -

Where any assessment or determination in relation to the pension payable to a member of the forces under this part is required to be reviewed, and the member refuses or fails to attend at the time and place fixed by the commission or a board for the review, or by his default renders it impossible to review the pension, the commission may cancel the pension, and any pensions payable to the dependants of the member shall not be continued for more than twelve months from the date fixed for the review.

Are we to understand that this proposed new section is intended to correct an anomaly in the act under which it is possible, owing to a mistake in the notification, for a returned soldier to be deprived of his rights? I wish to know also to what extent the provisions of this bill will be retrospective. Will they go back to 1922, or to the date of the last, amendment of the principal act, 1932?

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The provisions of the bill will cover the period 1920 to 1931. Under section 29 the commission has power to cancel a pension in the circumstances outlined, but instead of doing so, it apparently relied upon the board.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 10 (Suspension of pension during imprisonment).

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